Maine Gov. Paul LePage reacts as Maine GOP Party Chairman Rick Bennett introduces him during a celebration of the party's new headquarters in Androscoggin County, Aug. 27, 2014.

Welfare restrictions, tax reductions are separate issues

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 09, 2015, at 10:36 a.m.
Editorials: Tax rates and welfare are clearly two separate issues.
The sun sets on the State House in Augusta in this June 2015 file photo.

If governing happens in secret, does it happen at all?

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 08, 2015, at 12:51 p.m.
“The governor has great leeway to change policy through executive orders. But he can’t do it in secret, and he can’t simply ignore a law he took an oath to uphold and expect his actions to carry legal weight.”
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the audience during a town hall meeting Sept. 29 at Bucksport Middle School.

If LePage did nothing wrong, why stand in the way of truth on Good Will-Hinckley?

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 07, 2015, at 11:07 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has effectively admitted that he threatened to withhold state funds from Good Will-Hinckley if the nonprofit organization followed through with its hiring of Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves as its president. But the governor has consistently thrown up roadblocks as others have tried to get to the …
An eager swimmer prepares to jump into the Dakin Pool in Bangor on the pool’s opening day in 2007. The pool underwent major renovations, funded in part by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Conservation projects, big and small, would benefit from predictable funding

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 06, 2015, at 1:40 p.m.
The Land for Maine’s Future program has been in the spotlight in Maine because Gov. Paul LePage refuses to let the popular land conservation program work. In Washington, another important land preservation tool, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, is in jeopardy. Authorization for the program expired last week. It …
Dean Hickok, 56, (left) and his wife, Tammy Hickok, 53, take part in a candlelight vigil for victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, in Winston, Oregon, October 3, 2015. The gunman who killed his English professor and eight others at an Oregon community college committed suicide after a shootout with police who were on the scene within five minutes and exchanged fire with him almost immediately, authorities said.

Under-the-radar gun violence should enrage us just as much as mass shootings

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 05, 2015, at 1:08 p.m.
Outrage and demands for action follow each all-too-common mass shooting in this country — and they should. On Thursday, nine people were killed by a heavily armed, angry, young man at a community college in Oregon. The responses were, as President Obama described them, “routine.” These horrific events — the …

No reason to ban ballot selfies, require voters show photo IDs

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 04, 2015, at 7:51 a.m.
There was never any compelling reason to ban selfies from the voting booth.
Student tutor Angie Foster (right) helps student Krystal Huffman with a math problem at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington, which offers learn-at-your-own-pace math classes, called "emporium math."

One part of Maine’s turnaround: Get low-income students to college, keep them there

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 02, 2015, at 8:31 a.m.
What an ambitious Maine intent on cultivating a workforce ready for high-skill jobs could use, then, is an initiative that targets aid to low-income students and provides them with academic support that helps them stay on track in order to graduate on time.
Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald speaks about the abuse of EBT cards in his city during a press conference at the State House in Augusta, March 24, 2014.

Stop poor-shaming. Instead, advocate for policies that support Maine cities.

By The BDN Editorial Board on Oct. 01, 2015, at 12:48 p.m.
If public officials want to help communities, they should stop shaming the poor and children with disabilities and instead advocate for policy changes to boost service center communities, which are the backbone of Maine.
Tom Wolf, a farm apprentice from New Orleans, Louisiana, washes carrots at the Four Season Farm in Brooksville.

Organic farming: Maine’s small economic bright spot

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 30, 2015, at 1:10 p.m.
Editorials: For many sectors of the Maine economy, the story is one of decline and stagnation. But for Maine’s organic farms, growth is the theme.
Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC., Sept. 28, 2015.

It’s time Maine got ambitious about improving itself

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 29, 2015, at 11:17 a.m.
Editorials: It’s time Maine got serious about improving its economic fortunes by investing in its people in a focused, ambitious and serious way.
Gov. Paul LePage said in May that Democrats’ opposition to his constitutional amendment to repeal the income tax is “despicable.” He also pledged to veto every bill sponsored by a Democrat until his opposition relents and accepts his constitutional amendment to eliminate Maine’s income tax.

Citizen initiatives are for the people, not governors who want sole control

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 28, 2015, at 12:09 p.m.
In 1908, Maine became one of the first states to begin a citizen initiative and people’s veto process. That year the state constitution was amended to add this language: “But the people reserve to themselves power to propose laws and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent …
A sign outside an inn on Route 3 in Trenton conveys a message to Congress about the federal government shutdown and the resulting closure of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in this BDN file photo. Area hotels and other lodging businesses have been losing customers because of the park's closure, according to business officials.

Congress can avoid a shutdown — only to jump to another crisis

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 26, 2015, at 12:32 p.m.
We’re familiar with the consequences, and we know a federal government shutdown isn’t something worth repeating.
A canoeist enjoys paddling on Seboeis Lake, which is part of the Seboeis Public Reserved Lands Unit managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, under the Maine Department of Conservation.

Reason, science and the law: Where LePage’s public forest plans fall short

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 25, 2015, at 8:03 a.m.
The proposal has numerous problems.
Gov. Paul LePage appears at a news conference at the State House on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, where he and others discussed the virtues of his tax reform package.

Cutting taxes isn’t the only path to reducing Maine’s tax burden

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 24, 2015, at 11:45 a.m.
With a mish-mash referendum question about lowering Maine’s income tax and further restricting welfare benefits likely headed to the fall 2016 ballot, expect to hear a lot of misinformation in the coming year. Case in point: Two seemingly contradictory bits of information released earlier this week that Republicans have begun …
Jared Garfield climbs Eagle Bluff in Clifton in 2013. The popular climbing spot is part of a 165-acre parcel that has qualified for Land for Maine’s Future funding so the spot can be preserved. But it’s one of a number of projects in limbo due to Gov. Paul LePage’s refusal to allow Land for Maine’s Future to access bond funds.

LePage should stick to his word, keep hands off Land for Maine’s Future board

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 23, 2015, at 10:51 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage’s pledge to detach himself even further from the job of governing and indefinitely hold off on making appointments to a range of state boards and commissions is, no doubt, an abdication of the governor’s duties. But it could be the best news yet for Land for Maine’s …
Gov. Paul LePage speaks to reporters outside a press conference in Portland in June.

Govern or get out of the way: If LePage won’t lead Maine, lawmakers must step up

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 22, 2015, at 11:52 a.m.
Editorials: Gov. Paul LePage was elected to govern the state of Maine, as his title suggests. If he refuses to do that job, he should step aside.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture photo advertising the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.

LePage’s food stamp asset test helps no one beat poverty

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 21, 2015, at 12:22 p.m.
Rather than help people amass the resources needed to escape poverty and drop assistance — say, job skills and a bit of a nest egg — asset limits encourage people to spend down their assets in order to qualify for help …
Planned Parenthood is the focus of a partisan showdown as congressional Republicans push to cut off Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and to ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Defunding Planned Parenthood not supported by the public — and it hurts women

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 19, 2015, at 12 p.m.
Opponents of abortion and critics of Planned Parenthood seem sure they know what the general public wants and thinks. The problem is, they are wrong.
Melissa Pelchar and her husband installed leased solar panels on the roof of their Burlington, Connecticut, home as seen in this May 2013 file photo.

A Texas utility is breaking down solar power’s class divisions

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 18, 2015, at 10:14 a.m.
Since they’re costly to install, well-heeled utility customers have largely been the ones to put residential solar panels.
Gov. Paul LePage wields a plastic pig to criticize lawmakers in June for their compromise budget.

Trump presidency? Look to Maine for a taste of how it will work out

By The BDN Editorial Board on Sept. 17, 2015, at 1:30 p.m.
Billionaire Donald Trump has been leading his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in polls for more than two months. Why is he so popular? To many, Trump is best known for his insults: fellow GOP contender Carly Fiorina is ugly; Sen. John McCain, who was held prisoner for …
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